Day 1 – 9:05 p.m.
Prozac dose is 40 mg once daily. It has been the same dosage for a little over nine months now, and life seems to calm most of the time.
Let there be ripples.
This drug does weird things to one’s emotions. At times, it feels as if there are no emotions at all.
Today, the dosage was forgotten until late.
Waiting until tomorrow morning and regimenting to one every other day (however long it takes) would be like reverting back to the prior dose of 20 mg once daily for the previous 2 1/2 years.
Exercise was an important piece today.
(Shift to scene inside therapist office. Naturally lit 10 x 10 room. An aloe plant sat on the desk amidst various fidgets, i.e. play doh, stress balls, etc., books, and pamphlets. )
“And by virrrrtue signallll, youuuu meannnn….whaaaat?”
Sheila was an intern. She meant well and would, probably with the right mentor, would turn into a fine therapist at some point in her life.
That point was not going to be now and was never going to be with Ethan.
Besides reading some of her questions directly from the tablet textbook in her hands, Sheila was also of the generation that thought aloud through extended vowels (i.e. “sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo how do you feel about that?”)
This annoyed Ethan. It was bearable. Ethan was, after all, the one reaching out for help. And she really was a sweet girl. Some of these kids seem to have no empathy whatsoever. Like little robots.
Not her. She was kind. Just green. It was ok.
The good thing was that she seemed ditsy enough that she would not remember half the shit he told her to begin without consulting her notes.
“Virtue signal,” Ethan responded, “means when someone makes a point of letting everyone know how virtuous he/she is for whatever reason, even though these words, images, whatever they throw our ways may contrast the person’s true nature.”
Sheila stared past Ethan’s stopping point.
Here we go again. The extended ‘so’. When did this actually start? It is the worst version of ‘um’ or ‘uh’ to invade daily communication. What a waste of a word – and not even used correctly for that matter. Just a goddamn cop-out. A space waster.
C’mon, Sheila. I was just giving you credit for being a contender. A smart one. A neat kid. Hell…she can’t help it. Programmed like the lot of them. Anymore you can almost pinpoint the parenting practices presented to each pupa.
Remember why you are here. Not to judge. You are trying to get away from that old behavior.
Although workout clothes were forgotten, the coincidence of remembering forgotten swimming trunks left in the trunk (ah???) allowed for moderately strenuous exercise.
It was a resistance pool of sorts. Depends on how one looks at it. The pool can float a person around at his/her leisure, but swimming against the grain is where it was at today.
(New revisions added 12/16/19)
Hunter stood at the podium and adjusted his tie. He felt overdressed as he scanned the room of desolation. It didn’t take him long to remember when he was on the other side of the podium.
“I see, from the look on your face, that these questions I’m asking’ are startin’ to offend. I don’t know if I should apologize for my behavior or congratulate you on your subtle epiphany.”
“Let’s put this into perspective. When I decide to change a major part of my life, I had only a few options available: (1) die; (2) go on living a miserable life and end up looked up in a sanitarium or in jail for accidentally killing someone; (3) slowly waste away into oblivion, which eventually ends up back to #1; or (4) I was going to try and live a new life with a lot of clean up ahead.”
“After many deliberations and attempts at self-deception, the latter was chosen.”
Hunter took a drink from his water bottle. He spilled a little on down the front of his shirt. A few soft laughs rose and died off quickly. Hunter scanned the room again, this time with a smile and held his water bottle up as if giving a toast to the crowd.
“I am here now; I am willing to show you a path that you do NOT have to go down. I lived the shit, and I am willing to share ways to avoid going through the rest of the bad stuff.”
“However, in your vain and unmotivated mindset of “they will do it for me,” you are choosing to put yourself through all my mishaps in order to find out if what I tell you might be true.”
“I am one of the lucky ones, brother. I lived through life choices that may have killed most people my age.”
“There is no guarantee that you will make it that far, but wouldn’t it be worth giving it a shot? What do you have to lose? Worst case scenario: you go back to your old ways.”
Ethan started writing about the first topic to come to his head.
It was the game “Red Rover”.
Red Rover – Red Rover. Send Ethan right over!
Ethan remembered playing it during 6th grade recess. It wasn’t everyone’s favorite, but it was better than tetherball.
And you could beat the fuck outta some arms, he whispered to himself in quiet, satisfied reminiscence.
The game was really a “girl’s game,” but it was the only appeasable option when kickball was taken away again. The girls rarely played it the way the boys played it.
Quick overview: A group of kids separated into two even-numbered (if possible) teams. Each team creates a chain across from the opposing team. Teammates are standing side-by-side, tightly holding hands. The first team starts the game by uniformly singing “Red Rover – Red Rover. Send (teammate’s name) right over!“
After this war cry is sounded, the requested teammate runs as hard as he/she can in order to break the chain.
Boys tended to break with force. Boys tended to break with fierce competitiveness. Boys tended to break with EXTREME prejudice.
Various reasons boys would subject themselves to “Red Rover” include:
a) Losing football privileges by passing the ball hard enough to “accidentally” nail an unsuspecting tetherball girl in the head;
b) Losing kickball privileges from timing a slow-roll pitch to the exact moment the short bus would come strolling down the street in front of their playground;
c) “Kicking the fuck outta the ball” and into the neighbor’s window. On a warm day, the window may be open. On this day, the window was only opened with help from the glass shattering kick from Chris Kookle and his “steel toed work boots”.